There is a live oak along the Wadmalaw River – an angel and a mother. Dressed in her finest mint shawl of spanish moss. You approach her omniscience, and the pull of it’s protective branches bent low, ready to scoop you up and swaddle you in its enormity. A tree more welcoming than anything you’ve encountered and enveloped in green. The Quercus Virginiana.
Great specimens have been revered and registered, and a society formed, whose president is the present day Seven Sisters oak in Louisiana. My experiences were in Charleston SC with the Middleton and Angel Oaks.
It is no wonder then ancient peoples would be struck with the same awe. In Ireland, the Quercus Robur is cousin to the Virginiana and held in the same regard. One of note is called the Brian Boru Oak. A Quercus Robur a thousand years in observance over the Raheen Woods near https://goo.gl/maps/ZwuW77jGceHLy6Ut6 Taumgraney and Lisnacreeva.
The quercus of Ireland was a sacred plant to the Celts, and used by the Druid of old. It provided shelter and food of the savage. To know it is to know the bounty it provides and medicines it weeps as aerosols and black water. They believed their ancestors reincarnated in the form of the oak. The oak is a symbol of strength and endurance for their hardy nature, but also of life.
The ancients understood that it was not only what you saw above that was impressive but how the roots extended down to meet the earth. The most sacred oak, the Eo Mugna…
Eó Mugna, the great oak, whose roots extend to Connia’s Well in the “otherworld,” stands guard over what is the source of the River Shannon and the font of all wisdom. The well is probably the source of Mugna and the sacred well. – John Williams
When you have “three hundred years to grow, three hundred years to live, and three hundred years to die” a mother oak can play a part in so many generations of peoples. Quietly playing out its role and waiting for its demise. The Celtic druids worshiped among stands of these trees. Groves were called Nemetons (sacred space). Forests though are not a mono-culture and as such many species had a part as sacred celtic trees.
Today we can still see the reverence of these trees through the symbols Celts left.
The Celtic Tree of life is an oak. It’s balance of canopy above and roots below are drawn in perfect symmetry. The Dara Knot an oaks entangled roots with no beginning or end.